(BIVN) – Jim Bridenstine, now the 13th administrator of NASA, was given the oath of office by Vice President Mike Pence at the agency’s headquarters in Washington on Monday.
“It is a great privilege for me to be here today, to be able to usher in on behalf of the President of the United States what we believe is a new chapter of renewed American leadership in space with the swearing-in of the newest Administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine,” said Vice President Pence. “Under Space Policy Directive 1, we will send American astronauts back to the Moon, and after that we will establish the capacity, with international and commercial partners, to send Americans to Mars. And NASA will lead the way.”
“NASA represents the best of the United States of America,” said Bridenstine. “We lead, we discover, we pioneer, and we inspire. I look forward to our journey together.”
Hawaii State Senator Brian Schatz opposed the appointment.
“There is a simple reason why the Senate should reject James Bridenstine’s nomination to lead NASA: he is a climate denier with no scientific background who has made a career out of ignoring science,” Schatz wrote on Facebook, as he took to the floor of the senate to speak out against the nomination on April 19 before Bridenstine was confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate.
Towards the end of the ceremony, the new NASA administrator and the Vice President chatted with NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel, Scott Tingle, and Ricky Arnold who currently are onboard the International Space Station.